Cate Tiernan is the pen name of Gabrielle Charbonnet, who was born on July 24, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She studied writing and Russian language and literature at New York University before eventually graduating with a degree in Russian from Loyola University. While working as an assistant at Random House in New York City, she wrote her first childrens book and assisted in editing The Secret Circle by L. J. Smith. During this time, she wrote several chapter books and middle-grade books under different names, and ghost-wrote for some popular series. After 8 years in New York, she moved back to New Orleans and started her Sweep series. She also writes the Balefire series and the Immortal Beloved series.